The present study evaluates the hypothesis that countries where banks expand financial access through branches and ATM networks have smaller interest rate spreads. To do so, the financial access index produced by the International Monetary Fund was used to capture financial access through bank branches and ATMs (automated teller machines). Through a data panel analysis of 68 countries during the period between 2006 and 2015, the results of this study indicate that the bank interest rate spread is lower in countries with greater financial access. However, this effect is decreasing, indicating a limit to the effect on the spread.
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